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drinkanddestroy
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« #18000 : October 15, 2018, 03:36:43 PM »

City By The Sea (2002) 7/10


Cop Robert De Niro is forced to deal with his estranged son (James Franco) a junkie, after the son kills a dealer in self-defense.

The story and script are as cliched as they come. Events force someone to confront a past he thought he'd left behind. Yeeeahhh, I never heard that one before. Oh, and he also is sleeping with a neighbor (Frances McDormand) whom he can't commit to. Sound familiar? And these very unoriginal themes are hammered home over and over again, there's no subtly at all here; a big speech that comes toward the end of the movie is particularly vomit-inducing.

But despite the crappy script, the movie can be enjoyed, mostly because of the acting. De Niro and McDormand are always good, of course. But most of all, James Franco is absolutely brilliant here. Incredible, amazing. William Forsythe is very good as a motorcycle-riding local druglord, as is Eliza Dushku as Franco's baby mama.

Btw, one of the themes of the movie (also hammered at you again and again) is the supposed degradation of Long Beach, NY., from what was once a beach-town haven into a drug-filled slum. I don't know what part of Long Beach these filmmakers were dealing with. My grandparents owned a condo right near the beach in Long Beach in the mid-1990's, and it was a beautiful place. They still have a beautiful beach for which admission is charged (perhaps only to non-residents). Maybe some part of the town were drug slums, but the idea that Long Beach has turned into a shithole is bullcrap.


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« #18001 : October 16, 2018, 05:32:08 AM »

The White Ribbon 8/10
Very good. Kept me thinking about it for a couple of days. Some terrific cinematography. The German from Better Call Saul.

Funny Games US 6.5/10
Indeed: funny. I like the way Haneke plays with the audience. I haven't seen the original.

Un ProphŤte 8/10
Better than I remembered, still way too long for what it has to say. I don't understand how J. Audiard can be so underrated overseas. Is everybody blind? He's one of the 30 best filmmakers ever. He still needs to make one great film.

For A Few Dollars More
I'm not rating this one because Drink gets mad at me every time I do, but the fact is this movie is starting to age a LOT. A good chunk of its appeal is purely historical now. Anyway, although it's probably the Leone film I've seen the most often (it's the first one I got on a proper VHS), it was my first viewing on a BIG BIG screen and with a packed audience, great experience. It was interesting to re-discover things that I know way too much to even notice anymore: a live audience is great for these things.

« : October 16, 2018, 05:40:20 AM noodles_leone »


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« #18002 : October 16, 2018, 10:42:48 AM »



For A Few Dollars More
I'm not rating this one because Drink gets mad at me every time I do, but the fact is this movie is starting to age a LOT. A good chunk of its appeal is purely historical now. Anyway, although it's probably the Leone film I've seen the most often (it's the first one I got on a proper VHS), it was my first viewing on a BIG BIG screen and with a packed audience, great experience. It was interesting to re-discover things that I know way too much to even notice anymore: a live audience is great for these things.
you are starting to age a LOT


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« #18003 : October 16, 2018, 02:15:42 PM »

For A Few Dollars More
I'm not rating this one because Drink gets mad at me every time I do, but the fact is this movie is starting to age a LOT. A good chunk of its appeal is purely historical now. Anyway, although it's probably the Leone film I've seen the most often (it's the first one I got on a proper VHS), it was my first viewing on a BIG BIG screen and with a packed audience, great experience. It was interesting to re-discover things that I know way too much to even notice anymore: a live audience is great for these things.
Purely historical? What does that even mean? And when someone says that a movie is dated and loses value because of that, that must imply that modern movies have surpasses or replaced the movie. right? In this case, that potential implication or assertion is beyond ridiculous.

Leone's style will always feel modern and you can argue that he changed the trajectory of movies just as much as anyone else, if not more than anyone. This movie in particular was maybe the first buddy action movie.



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« #18004 : October 16, 2018, 05:26:51 PM »

Purely historical? What does that even mean? And when someone says that a movie is dated and loses value because of that, that must imply that modern movies have surpasses or replaced the movie. right? In this case, that potential implication or assertion is beyond ridiculous.

Leone's style will always feel modern and you can argue that he changed the trajectory of movies just as much as anyone else, if not more than anyone. This movie in particular was maybe the first buddy action movie.

First, calm down, i didnít attack a religious icon.

I totally agree with your last paragraph, which is my exact answer to your first question.

And yes I think that movies nowadays have integrated a lot of FAFDM and build upon that, which makes FAFDM very dated on some aspects in comparison. It isnít bad in itself for a movie to become dated over 50 years after its release, itís an impressive achievement. I just donít think OUATITW, GBU and OUATIA aged as much. It doesnít mean FAFDM isnít good, it means these 3 others are even better.



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« #18005 : October 16, 2018, 06:55:20 PM »

Is Citizen Kane dated because every movie that has come since then has been a copy of it?

To the contrary. Citizen Kane is great. The others are the lame-ass ripoffs.

FAFDM is still the greatest movie ever made 😝😝😝😝

« : October 17, 2018, 12:17:08 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #18006 : October 16, 2018, 07:53:57 PM »

First, calm down, i didnít attack a religious icon.

On the SLWB, anything Sergio Leone touched is sacrosanct :)

And yes I think that movies nowadays have integrated a lot of FAFDM and build upon that, which makes FAFDM very dated on some aspects in comparison. It isnít bad in itself for a movie to become dated over 50 years after its release, itís an impressive achievement.

To agree with that, one has to accept the premise that the fruits of the film industry have improved since then. Please don't get me started again on the adverse side-effects of modern technology (not that it's all bad of course)...

Is Citizen Kane dated because every movie that has come since then has been a copy of it?

Exactly

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« #18007 : October 17, 2018, 01:43:50 AM »

Is Citizen Kane dated because every movie that has come since then has been a copy of it?

To the contrary. Citizen Kane is great. The others are the lame-ass ripoffs.

Exactly. This is why GBU, OUATITW and OUATIA aren't dated.
I don't think the discussion will be interesting if you guys keep on with the "YOU'RE SO WRONG! Now let me paraphrase what you just said to explain why i totally agree with you" thing. :D

To agree with that, one has to accept the premise that the fruits of the film industry have improved since then. Please don't get me started again on the adverse side-effects of modern technology (not that it's all bad of course)...

Haha I'm not talking about technology ;)

FAFDM has a lot of wonderful stuff in it, but most of the time, to really appreciate them I need to remember what came before and forget what came after (especially the subsequent Leone's films, which did everything FAFDM did but improved on every single aspect). A few examples:

- While the mise en scene is groundbreaking, the cinematography is terrible (this is partly due to the lack of budget and mainly due to the fact that Massimo Dallamano isn't Delli Colli). It wasn't so much of an issue back in the 60's when terrible cinematography was very common, even in high budget films. Nowadays' standards, even in bad movies, are way above that (it's a trend that started in the 1970's and I'm sure Leone played a big role in it although Coppola is the one most film historians credit). So it wasn't really an issue back in the day, especially thanks to the great mise en scene ideas by Leone, but it makes the film much dated than the ones Leone did with Tonino Delli Colli. Because most films that came in the subsequent decades are just better than FAFDM in that aspect. Yeah, even the very generic, flat and uninteresting cinematography of The Avengers, and even Sex In The City 2. And when Sex In The City 2 bests you at something, you have a problem :D

- Leone was still looking for the exact amount of cartoonish effects to incorpore in his style. He really nailed it in GBU, but you can see more radical stuff in FAFDM (the musical sound of Manco's hat falling down, anyone?) that now feel TYPICAL 60's slapstick, which means they feel pretty lame. Once again, it's ok: first, it's easy to see 50 years later what heavy handed effects were a dead end and what wasn't; also, FoD was a first try that wasn't even that conscious of how groundbreaking it was, FAFDM is the film where Leone really put all the foundations for what he did afterwards so it's a trial and error thing.... and by 60's standards, FAFDM was mostly a trial and success process. By 2010's standards, many stuff don't work anymore as is.

- More generally, if action scenes are the scene that tend to be the most dated ones in most old movies, the action scenes here work great. Another kind of scene that tend to age poorly is comedy scenes, especially because slow paced comedy is WAY, WAY, WAY HARDER than fast paced comedy. Trust me on this, I've tried both. And the comedy in FAFDM is quite hit and miss, usually because of the previous point (about how cartoonish things should be or not be), but quite often because of the pacing too.

- Although Leone totally nailed the way he implemented flashbacks in the narration (in a way that feels more elegant than in OUATITW, I'll give you that), the editing of the transitions (as well as the "The Bold and the Beautiful" colors and highlights of the flashbacks) feel like cheap TV crap now.

So these are just a few examples but in the end, it's just dated, and it's ok. I'll still watch it once every couple of years for the rest of my life. I'm an educated and adult film goer, I'm able to watch dated movies and do the necessary brain work to still enjoy it.

« : October 17, 2018, 02:34:16 AM noodles_leone »


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« #18008 : October 17, 2018, 06:12:31 PM »

It wasn't so much of an issue back in the 60's when terrible cinematography was very common, even in high budget films. Nowadays' standards, even in bad movies, are way above that (it's a trend that started in the 1970's and I'm sure Leone played a big role in it although Coppola is the one most film historians credit).

What do you mean by a trend that Coppola started? Some of the best cinematography was done in the 1940s and 50s - John Alton, James Wong-Howe etc. Plus Vittorio Storaro and Vilmos Zsigmond had respectively shot "The Conformist" (!970) and "McCabe and Mrs Miller" (1971) before Gordon Willis shot "The Godfather" (1972)

FoD was a first try that wasn't even that conscious of how groundbreaking it was, FAFDM is the film where Leone really put all the foundations for what he did afterwards so it's a trial and error thing...

I'd take FOD over FAFDM for that reason - it is brilliant in its simplicity and low budget, and for that reason reminds me of "High Noon" in a way. Actually FAFDM is my least favorite entry of the six in Leone's two trilogies.

... "The Bold and the Beautiful" colors and highlights of the flashbacks) feel like cheap TV crap now.

Ok, I'll give you that one.

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« #18009 : October 18, 2018, 07:10:58 AM »

- While the mise en scene is groundbreaking, the cinematography is terrible (this is partly due to the lack of budget and mainly due to the fact that Massimo Dallamano isn't Delli Colli). It wasn't so much of an issue back in the 60's when terrible cinematography was very common, even in high budget films. Nowadays' standards, even in bad movies, are way above that (it's a trend that started in the 1970's and I'm sure Leone played a big role in it although Coppola is the one most film historians credit). So it wasn't really an issue back in the day, especially thanks to the great mise en scene ideas by Leone, but it makes the film much dated than the ones Leone did with Tonino Delli Colli. Because most films that came in the subsequent decades are just better than FAFDM in that aspect. Yeah, even the very generic, flat and uninteresting cinematography of The Avengers, and even Sex In The City 2. And when Sex In The City 2 bests you at something, you have a problem :D
This, to me, is a judicious assessment.



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« #18010 : October 18, 2018, 07:30:07 AM »

What do you mean by a trend that Coppola started? Some of the best cinematography was done in the 1940s and 50s - John Alton, James Wong-Howe etc. Plus Vittorio Storaro and Vilmos Zsigmond had respectively shot "The Conformist" (!970) and "McCabe and Mrs Miller" (1971) before Gordon Willis shot "The Godfather" (1972)
I can't speak for Noodles, but I'm guessing he's talking about color films. Of course there's a lot of great photography in the 40s and 50s but it's all in b&w (lets leave Technicolor out of the discussion--a special case). I'm sure he'd agree that the 60s had a lot of great looking b&w films too (all those by Frankenheimer, say) but he's certainly right that many color films of the period are badly lit. The industry was still transitioning from b&w to color and hadn't yet completely figured out how to light for the newer medium. Storaro was a pioneer, of course, which is why Coppola hooked up with him later. And although "McCabe" looks wonderful, flashing film stock was not an industry-changing technique. It was not the way forward, and even Altman gave up using it quickly. 



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« #18011 : October 18, 2018, 10:55:24 AM »

... but he's certainly right that many color films of the period are badly lit. The industry was still transitioning from b&w to color and hadn't yet completely figured out how to light for the newer medium.

True, there was indeed a transition. Some people still argue that b&w works better because of the contrast, but Storaro really showed how chiaroscuro could work in color film too.

However, I still don't buy the main argument. I mean Giuseppe Rotunno shot "The Leopard" in 1963!

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« #18012 : October 18, 2018, 01:12:58 PM »

So the 1970s where the average movie looked like Save the Tiger was some step up from the 50s and 60s? I'm on the opposite end of that one.



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« #18013 : October 18, 2018, 04:12:04 PM »

There are several examples of greatly lit color films in the 60's and early 70's, including GBU and OUATITW, yet:

- they were the exception and not the rule, just like DJ said
- sometimes/often, great cinematography doesn't make itself too obvious

Coppola had great lighting and colors in a way that call for attention. Many people actually discovered that cinematography was a thing by watching Apocalypse Now (which both got "flashy" good looking cinematography and commercial success), which is why Storaro and Coppola (he also had the less flashy but still noticeable work of Gordon Willis under his belt) get a lot of credit although of course they were other great people working (and succeeding) at the same thing at the same time.



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« #18014 : October 18, 2018, 06:13:51 PM »

- they were the exception and not the rule, just like DJ said

Well I agree that DJ's point is valid, but I would still argue that they largely still are exceptions and that much of what looks "better" is more often the result of better cameras than better talent.

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